Ambleside Schools International Articles
Seeds to Flourish – Investing in Growth
Ambleside Schools International [ASI] has invested generously in our School . . . and professionally, spiritually, and relationally in me.
ASI has trained me. It started with my training as an Ambleside teacher. I took part in the Ambleside Institute and Internships and really fell in love with this education.
ASI has invested in a relationship with me. Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr have become dear friends over the years. They know my children and they continue to invest in my life and in our School. Bill has invested his personal time to consult and serve on our Board and to advise our Board Chair and board members. The first year that I was leading this School, I had come from another Ambleside school, and it was a very difficult year for this School and for me. Many families enrolled at our School left during my leadership transition, and about one month into the school year, we found out that my second daughter had significant special needs that required 24-hour care. It was the hardest year of our lives. It was a time of crisis for my family, and it became a time of leadership crisis for our School. ASI came alongside me in a great way and it’s why our School is thriving today.
At a board meeting, Bill St. Cyr was there when news came through about how severe our daughter’s brain injuries were and that her life and our lives would be forever changed. We were all crying and praying together, and Bill said to me, “Your daughter has a ministry in the Kingdom, and that’s something that you’ll need to look for throughout her life and protect and enjoy.” That has been a word from the Lord that has resonated throughout her life and our family — yet another blessing from our ASI partnership. Now we’re beginning a capital campaign because of Ambleside Schools International’s investment in me and in our School during that year of crisis. Since then, ASI’s continued support and encouragement for us has allowed us to grow, one hundred percent — more than double in size since that point. We’re starting a high school and with all of our expansion, we need a new and permanent facility to be able to serve all of our families.
ASI also helped us through several marketing initiatives including our rebranding and website development that allowed us to take the risks that we needed to grow. As the Head of School, you have dreams and visions for your organization but you also have to protect the current reality. Having ASI as our partner and co-investor allowed me to steward our current families and also be bold about stepping forward and being aggressive about pursuing open windows of opportunity. Without their help and their donors who support them, we would’ve been more hesitant to pursue our options.
Our capital campaign vision is to bring our whole community together — families, grandparents, alumni. We needed an effective communication and campaign strategy that would really reflect the Charlotte Mason philosophy and Ambleside Method. We have been able to partner with ASI, and our external marketing folks, to have a campaign that would not just be successful in regard to finances, but actually advance our key stakeholder’s understanding of what Ambleside is and what makes it special.
ASI invested in our capital campaign through the Ambleside Seed initiative, which supports both ASI and our School’s mission of providing a living education. We’ve been able to engage experts who’ve put us on the right timeline and who make sure that we’re on schedule with our design phase and budgeting. It also ensured that the capital campaign content and design are true, good, and beautiful — reflecting the Ambleside aesthetic.
Our capital campaign is a testament to our partnership with ASI and the donors that allow them to make those growth-oriented investments in schools to help expand the network and the Ambleside movement into the future.
We are eternally grateful.
Ambleside Schools International (ASI) has always been dedicated to inspiring, training, and equipping students, teachers, administrators, and leaders within its network of schools, in order that they may flourish.
Since 2000, ASI has flourished and now has 25 schools throughout the world. A remarkable accomplishment resulting from the blending of the Charlotte Mason philosophy, the Ambleside Method of Education developed by Maryellen and Bill St. Cyr, and the firm foundation of Biblical truth.
It has also been our goal to increase the number of schools within the Ambleside network to 100 Member Schools. Ambitious perhaps, but we know that a living education provided through each Ambleside school, stays with students for a lifetime and can change the world.
In Charlotte Mason’s words, “We feel that the country and indeed the world should have the benefit of [these] educational discoveries which act powerfully as a moral lever.”
This is where you can come alongside. This type of growth takes a group of ambassadors who are also called to the renewal of Christian education and support that initiative prayerfully and financially. You are the lever.
When you donate to ASI, you are helping us to fund Member School capital campaigns through our Ambleside Seed initiative. Your support not only helps our schools grow, but to flourish, just like the story we’ve shared from one of our Member Schools today.
During this next year, we anticipate three of our schools will be engaging in capital improvements and campaigns. Your thoughtful gifts allow ASI to reinvest in growing our schools. Member Schools which can and will flourish because of you.
This story was provided by the Head of School of an Ambleside Member School, who prefers to be anonymous and dedicate all the glory to God for how the School has flourished.